October 3, 2013
Companies have an inconsistent approach to the implementation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in the workplace and often misjudge the ways in which people use their own technology for work regardless of official policies, claims a snapshot survey of IT managers at 224 UK businesses commissioned by Azzurri Communications. It found that while a greater number of firms are switching to Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) as an alternative in which the business keeps control of the account and SIM card for equipment, staff continue to use their own devices anyway to a far greater extent than their employers assume.
According to the survey, uptake of BYOD has grown over the past year at half the rate, six percent, compared to choose your own device at 12 percent. CYOD policies are now in operation at 31 percent of UK organisations (up from 19.5 percent last year) compared to BYOD policies, which have been deployed by 17 percent of respondents (up from 11 percent).
Respondents claim that CYOD, a policy which enables users to choose a corporate approved tablet or smartphone for both business and personal use, has clear benefits for IT departments including the easier management of devices and increased security. The firms surveyed claim that it is largely unlikely that adoption of BYOD will become the preferred policy. In spite of the fact that the average cost of introducing a CYOD policy was put at £83.66 per employee, while BYOD cost £50.63 per employee, around 60 percent of firms claimed that CYOD is their best option, compared with 13 percent which believe BYOD is more suitable.
Adoption of BYOD was also found to vary across different groups of employees. The Azzurri study found that adoption of what it describes as ‘token BYOD’ in which only a tenth of employees can connect their private devices to the network, had increased markedly from 42.7 percent last year to 58.3 percent this year. The report puts this down to ‘possibly more about C-level execs getting their way than anything else.’
However staff are still likely to ignore policies in favour of using their own devices for work anyway. And far more of them do so than companies guess. When asked what proportion of employees use their private phone to access files and data, IT chiefs estimated it was an average of 15 percent, when the research found it was actually around 50 percent. A similar percentage said they read work email on their personal devices every week, and more than one third said they used them for reading work documents, although the research noted that most did not want to use their personal devices too much if they couldn’t charge back costs to their employer.
According to Rufus Grig, CTO, Azzurri Communications, despite the hype around BYOD , many organisations are unwilling to allow private devices onto corporate networks. “Despite all the puff and promise of BYOD, the evidence shows that adoption is far lower than the hype would lead us to believe,” he said. “BYOD promises the world, but in reality most organisations are left paralysed and confused by what BYOD can really offer, so in the end they stick to what they know and avoid large-scale, companywide BYOD deployments.”